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The Rising Times Of Rose Wine

It’s not long since rose wine was regarded as unfashionable and unsophisticated, with the ultimate social no-no being taking a bottle of rose to a party or celebration. Today, things are altogether different. According to the trade journal Off Licence News, sales in the year to February 2008 have increased by 29% and rose wine now accounts for 8% of all wine sales compared to 1% ten years ago. And it’s not just here in the UK where we are proud rose drinkers. Sales of rose wine in France have outstripped those of white wine for the first time.'

Greater Choice

One of the key reasons given for the increase in rose wine sales is greater choice. During the early noughties, a number of large Californian wine estates became key players in the rose wine market, with brands such as Blossom Hill, Gallo and Echo Falls filling the supermarket shelves and providing an alternative to the more traditional French Rose d’Anjou and Aussie style roses.

Alcopop Generation

Sweeter blush style roses have become particularly popular with the younger generation who are looking for an alternative to sugary style alcopops.

Better Quality

To coincide with the increase in sales, winemakers have realised the importance, and money to be gained from, producing and marketing rose in its own right (as opposed to regarding it as a by-product of red wine). The result is better quality rose wine made from superior grapes and vintages.

Drier Styles

While the sweeter Californian styles have helped revive rose wine, they are not to everyone’s liking. Therefore some winemakers have targeted “grown up tastes by making their rose drier and more refreshing.

Versatility and Colour

It’s no secret that rose has some great advantages over white and red wines. Not only does it look great, but it goes with all types of food – be it red meat, white meat, fish, salad or vegetable based dishes. Also, while rose wine used to be regarded as a drink purely for the summer months, it is increasingly becoming accepted as a wine for all seasons.